Reflecting on a Difficult Semester


I don’t know if anyone has told you this today, but if not, I’m proud of you. I’m proud of everything you put into this semester. There is one thing we always fail to recognize while being in these (approximately) four most difficult years of our lives and that is that college is NOT easy. In fact, college is one of the most insanely stressful, emotional roller coasters yet somehow deeply educational experiences of our lifetimes.

I can’t even begin to explain to you the challenges I personally faced this semester and I don’t want to explain them to be completely honest. I know that my experience is not uncommon among us exhausted college students. It is too often that we lose focus of the importance of completing each semester, that being the fact we get through it. 

We all have semesters that make us simply want to pull our hair out or punch a hole in the wall. We all have those times where we are immensely overwhelmed with assignments and deadlines and have no idea how we would get through it. I ask myself every single day how it’s possible that I could have possibly had the mental capacity to overcome something so mentally draining. 

We don’t give ourselves enough credit. We complain all the time about how stressed and how incapable we are to complete something with confidence. I see this every day with my friends and on social media. People don’t allow themselves to appreciate what they have gone through. The fact of the matter is that we’re all going through the same thing, but we all are trying to accomplish something bigger in the process.

I want each of you to allow yourself that pat on the back you have deserved. You put your everything into this semester and you deserve to be proud of yourself for that. There is nothing more accomplishing than being able to overcome one of the most difficult obstacles of your lifetime.

The last thing I want to do is make it sound like college is the worst experience of our lives. That’s far from what I’m trying to communicate. This experience is something that allows us to pursue bigger and better things in our lives. It allows us to think outside the box and take on challenges that we wouldn’t have previously thought we were capable of taking on. College presents us with so many more real world realities that we didn’t even know existed in our adolescent years. 

It is okay to be stressed. It is definitely okay. You’re supposed to be feeling like you have  the weight of the world on your shoulders. What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. We are all living proof of that. We should all be embracing the blood, sweat and tears we put into everything we do rather than believing we’re just a bunch of reckless screw-ups that are just trying to get out alive with our degrees. The value of this experience is what you decide to make of it and what you decide to take with you on your way out.

So once again I want to emphasize how proud I am of you for stepping up to the plate and hitting that home run out of the park this semester. The day you walk across that stage with your cap and gown on and diploma in hand, will be the day everything you have been through finally makes sense. Don’t ever put down how dedicated and hardworking of an individual you are. You made it this far, push through to home plate and show yourself how outstanding you really are.

photo credit: 1, 2